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Visited a jeweler for the first time yesterday, brought up a few questions

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joegolo

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I''ve just started performing my research for my engagement ring, and have found a great deal of information and misinformation on diamonds online. I''m glad to have found pricescope and this forum to help new diamond buyers like myself.

After being armed with some diamond knowledge, I decided to drop by a local store near work with a coworker to ask a few questions. The jeweler was very knowledgeable, and had been in the business for generations.

A few comments that stuck with me were:

Start with a budget, find the ring, then have a professional jeweler that you trust find the diamond that will complete your budget.

Not all colors and clarity grades are equal. There can be a SI2 that just barely squeaked above an I1, and an SI1 that just missed being a VS2. Only a professional is going to be able to tell how good a diamond is for the money.

On a scale of 1-10, no need to buy a 10 diamond (ideal or signature ideal diamonds) because the 8-9s look just as good from the eye, and they all look about the same once soap or lotion, etc, gets on it.

One last thought is that he mentioned I should go to as many jewelers as I could to talk to them and buy the jeweler rather than the ring.

What does the pricescope community think about what he''s said? My budget is around 10k or so, and I''m wondering rather than looking for the perfect diamond on paper, will that blue nile signature ideal diamond, or ACA H&A diamond look that much better than say a standard excellent or ideal cut? It sounds like most people buy their diamond and ring separate, is that so they can get it appraised and take a look at the diamond before it''s set and mounted?

I''ve been thinking of trying out his advice and emailing a few trusted PS vendors with details on what I''m looking for and to get some additional input.

Sorry for all the questions, thanks for any answers and input



Joe
 

JulieN

Super_Ideal_Rock
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That is very solid advice. Everyone has different preferences/priorities, but it is solid.

Except for maybe the soap/lotion comment...meh, I didn't really like that. The prevailing theory is that they all look good when CLEAN...it's when they are dirty that you can separate the wheat from the chaff.
 

neatfreak

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Most of his advice is great, but personally I would go for the best cut possible...I''ve seen it with my own eyes that not all "excellents" are so excellent.
 

Lorelei

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Date: 2/19/2009 6:42:24 PM
Author: neatfreak
Most of his advice is great, but personally I would go for the best cut possible...I''ve seen it with my own eyes that not all ''excellents'' are so excellent.
Ditto Julie and Neat.
 

oldminer

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Shopping on the Internet allows consumers to buy diamonds at very low mark-ups over cost. You can keep to a budget and buy a diamond with great credentials virtually sight unseen, but to be sure it looks great, the tendency is to buy near the top end of cut grade. It is a safe way to go.

In a store, you have the luxury of physically seeing the diamonds and you then can use good judgment in buying a diamond with some degree of lessened cut quality which still meets your needs. Somewhat less cut quality might allow upgrading from SI2 to SI1 or from I color to H color, or from .95c to 1.00ct and still keep to the budget. You probably will pay more in a store than on the Internet, but you choices presented may be broader in person, in certain respects.

The thousands of diamonds listed on Pricescope surely don''t look like a narrow selection to me, but many of them are clustered within the upper cut grades because of consumer safety and marketing to the demographic who shops for diamonds on-line. The selection of diamonds is broader in the real world than in our virtual world of the Internet, but there is no shortage of what to pick on line. Deciding to stick to top cut diamonds is going to get you a great diamond in visual appearance, so I''m afraid that the retailer is probing for weaknesses in your committment to buy from the Internet and to see if they can convince you to buy from their store. This is what retailers in stores are forced to do to make sales and I can''t say I blame them for trying.

Once you train your eyes to see well cut and versus super well cut diamonds, you may come to agree that there are good reasons not compromise on cut quality unless your budget or other factors determine that compromise is essential.
 

denverappraiser

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Largely I too agree with his advice but I too take a little umbrage over the comment of there being no reason to buy a 10 when an 8 is good enough. To be sure there are plenty of customers who have bought mid-range and even low end stones who are thrilled with their purchases but it’s not correct to say that those who want the very best and are willing to pay a premium to get it are wrong because of this any more than it''s wrong to want the biggest possible rock for the lowest possible price while ignoring the other attributes. Buy what you like, whether he calls it a 10 or a 2.

Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

joegolo

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Feb 19, 2009
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Thanks for all the great info! Wow, I didn''t realize there would be so many replies so quickly
. I do kind of prefer those super ideal cuts such as the hearts and arrows... when I see those enlarged pictures on goodoldgold it looks so much nicer and symmetrical compared to the other diamond on Jon''s article.

I''ll probably continue my search both in store as well as online, and see where I can find a diamond I love at a price I can afford.

What are everyone''s experiences purchasing a diamond online? Did you guys get it set at the same vendor or typically get the diamond first to inspect it, then have it set locally? I live in southern california and will probably check out the jewelery district in LA, but it seems most vendors on PS are more or less in the NYC area.


Thanks!
Joe
 

ImpatientOne

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I disagree, somewhat, on the comment about 8-9's being just as good as 10's. Honestly, my first diamond (pre PS) was a GIA Very Good cut. Once I got educated, I promptly got rid of it and purchased an Ideal Cut from Good Old Gold. The difference is night and day! I don't think that I could ever go back to a non-Ideal cut, unless it was an old cut...
 

joegolo

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Hey IO, thanks for the input. When you say night and day do you mean the sparkle and the way it reflects light? Could you elaborate?


Thanks!
Joe
 

oldminer

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We often get lost in the details. Diamonds are graded with extremely fine gradations of color and clarity at the very top end. Logically, the same should be true of diamond cut grading. That doesn''t say that an 8 is like a VVS2 or that a 9 is a VVS1, but the logic of the long existing grading structure should be the same for cut grading. Maybe it isn''t right now, but it could and should be.

Consumers wearing a D-IF diamond cannot tell it from an F-VVS2 diamond if all else is equal, but the expert market indicates a substantial difference exists. If a consumer wants a 10 cut and can only find an 8, it may be different, but they might not be able to tell any difference exists.

If your own grading system makes big visual differences between 10, 9 and 8, then your system is not gradual enough, not finely delineated enough, and improper for diamond grading. This may be one of the reasons there is yet to be universal agreement on cut grading strategy. In the system which I currently use for light performance grading, there are six upper levels of grading out of a total of 11 categories. These top six levels are scientifically different from one another, but have very little difference in off-hand appearance. One must study them diligently to see any differences from the top grade to the fourth or fifth level down. The differences can be measured with repeatability and consistency, but the eyes are just not scientific discriminators equal to modern technology.

I don''t consider myself a liberal when it comes to diamond grading. However, I am a follower of the traditional scheme of color and clarity grading which the market has come to respect. I believe that proper cut grading must conform to this norm or be eventually discredited and replaced by better grading schemes which meet the needs of the upper range of quality consumers.
 

vgirl17

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As far as purchasing diamonds online I have been working with James Allen and they have been great. The only problem is that I''m looking for a cushion cut diamond and they tend to be a little harder to purchase based on specs and without seeing in person. I''ve had to send two back for various reasons but through no fault of JA only my personal preference.
 

ImpatientOne

Brilliant_Rock
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Date: 2/20/2009 2:27:50 PM
Author: joegolo
Hey IO, thanks for the input. When you say night and day do you mean the sparkle and the way it reflects light? Could you elaborate?


Thanks!
Joe
Yes, the sparkle, fire, the way it reflected light was very different different. The Ideal cut stone has so much more life, and even when dirty far outshines the old stone. It pretty much always looks amazingly sparkly.
 
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